The Gilder Lehrman Institute in Philanthropy Magazine

Richard Gilder (left) and Lewis Lehrman (right) speak with students at Notre Dame Preparatory Academy.The July 2018 issue of Philanthropy magazine features an extended look at the founding and history of both the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the Hamilton Education Program. The profile features interviews with Gilder Lehrman staff, teachers, donors, and students, including the following exchange with two Hamilton Education Program students:

Twenty minutes before curtain, an argument is breaking out backstage at the Richard Rodgers Theater in New York City. I’ve just asked three teenagers, Crystal, Aisha, and Ishrat, if they would side with Benjamin Franklin or his loyalist son, William, on the American Revolution.

“I would go with William Franklin,” says Crystal. Ishrat disagrees: “I’d be a patriot, absolutely.” She turns to Aisha to hear her opinion. To her shock, she’s also on the loyalist side. “Only people in the high ranks wanted war,” Alicia explains. She thinks that if she’d lived during the run-up to the Revolution, “I wouldn’t be high class, I’d be working class.”

“But what about the Boston Massacre?” Ishrat asks, dumbfounded.

Our conversation is cut short. The three need to go onstage and perform their original song—about the tension between Franklin and his progeny.

Read the full interview here.